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Tailback Huggins stars in new role as teacher for St. Peter's Prep

Three weeks ago, St. Peter's Prep (Jersey City, N.J.) junior tailback Savon Huggins and the Marauders hosted Garden State power St. Joseph's (Montvale).

Big games are nothing new to Huggins. The previous two seasons he had learned alongside state player of the year Will Hill (now at Florida) and top running back Nyshier Oliver (Tennessee). Hill had taken the precocious freshman under his wing, and Oliver offered advice, but now the 6-foot, 195-pound prospect found his motivation in a local newspaper's prediction that said the Marauders would fall in a squeaker. Huggins viewed it as a slight. Then he rushed for 307 yards and three touchdowns in a 42-19 victory.

"I just want to show [my younger teammates] how to play, and how to be men," Huggins said. "Now it's my turn to be that leader."

Huggins continues to draw attention from colleges for his quiet leadership. Cal, Miami, Rutgers and South Florida have offered scholarships, while programs like North Carolina and Notre Dame have increased their interest. Huggins claims no favorite -- citing positives from playing in warm weather with Miami's strong tradition to staying in-state with Rutgers. For their part, the Scarlet Knights have told Huggins that he is their top priority.

"They run the ball a lot and that is important to me," said Huggins, who notes an "outstanding relationship" with Rutgers coach Greg Schiano.

Huggins, who has a 93 average in the classroom, remains a student of the game -- no matter the level. On Saturday night after St. Peter's won its first-round playoff game over Paul VI (Haddonfield) 47-10, Huggins, who went for 183 yards, hung around Cochrane Field to watch a Pop Warner game. He didn't know any of the players on the teams or have any really connection to the game. It was football, and Huggins just wanted to watch.

"I love this game and I love watching it, really understanding it," Huggins said. "To me, there is nothing better than watching football, other than maybe, well, playing it."

The stars will be out in Gainesville on Nov. 28 when Florida hosts rival Florida State. Kenny Stills, a sure-handed wide receiver from La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, Calif.), St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) defensive back Cody Riggs and the nation's top defensive end in Owamagbe Odighizuwa will be in attendance ... Another underwhelming season and the possible departure of head coach Charlie Weis isn't hurting the visitors' list in South Bend. Kyle Prater, a 6-5, 205-pound USC commit, will take an official on Saturday.

Two weeks ago, J.R.Ferguson -- a bull-rushing defensive end from Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, Va.) -- took an official visit to LSU and raved about the family atmosphere in Baton Rogue. He plans on taking all five of his official visits.

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